Spiced Wine & Pear Hand Pies

Spiced Wine and Pear Hand Pies at Chasing Delicious


A brisk wind curls in on itself, picking up the fallen gold and red leaves of a nearby maple. Frosty grey clouds hover overhead, sinking slowly towards the barren ground in a fine mist that seems to hang frozen in time. Dark coats and yards of layered fabrics hide shivering hands and chattering teeth as they hurry about, running from shelter to shelter. A distant train and its powerful horn call out through the wind-tossed trees and long, empty allies. The warning from the train as it approaches a faraway crossing warms ears bombarded by the shrill whistle of freezing wind howling around unmovable objects. One or two of us stop to listen to the faint mechanical song, forgetting for just a moment the harsh attack nature batters us with. We go back to our hurrying, quick to find a reprieve from the dry red noses and ears, aching joints, and damp clinging clothes.


Inside, blackened fireplaces roar to life with the warmth of an oak-fueled fire and the yellows, oranges, and reds that flicker about leaving a colorful glow on cold walls and colder faces. Stiff, frost-drenched hands hug hot mugs tightly. Fluffy-sock-covered feet sit precariously close to a barrage of popping embers. Slow sips on almost-boiling cocoa warm once blue lips.


A door opens and the sting of frigid air pokes unsuspecting faces. Hugs spread like wildfire, lingering longer than summer hugs, as friends are welcomed to the fire. Stories are whispered slowly over old worn books. Newcomers are handed hot mugs filled with sweet, chocolate warmth. Thank you’s quietly poke through the silence. Eyes loiter, watching the subtle changes in favorite, long-studied faces hiding behind steaming mugs and slowly removed mittens and hats.  Another sip builds a small whipped cream mustache on unsuspecting lips.


A laugh calls attention to the confectionary whiskers. Smiles peak around woolen scarfs and a hastily wiped away whipped cream mustache.


Hand Pies: Hand pies are similar to galettes or tarts in that they must be able to support themselves without the aid of a dish. While galettes and tarts use specialized doughs, hand pies are small enough that you can get away with using a standard pie dough. Take care not to overfill each hand pie otherwise they could break apart easily.


Spiced Wine & Pear Hand Pies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
  • 2 Pecan Pie Crusts (recipe below)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 ounces honey
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 1 ounce sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-4 ripe pears
  • Egg wash
  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F. Roll out the pie crusts to make a 9" circle and set aside in the fridge.
  2. Put the wine, apple cider, bourbon, orange, lemon, cinnamon sticks, cloves, honey and 4 ounces sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the orange, lemon, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and let the mixture reduce to a third of its original volume, about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Remove the syrup from the heat and let cool.
  5. In the meantime mix the 1 ounce sugar, salt, orange zest and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside
  6. Cut each disk into quarters. Brush the outside ¼" of each quarter with the egg wash.
  7. Lay a few pear slices on half of the dough quarter, leaving the ¼" space brushed with egg wash clear. Brush a little of the spiced wine over the pears. Sprinkle on some of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the pear slices.
  8. Fold over the half of the dough that does not have any pear slices on it. Carefully press the edges together to seal the hand pies. Using a toothpick crimp the edges to help keep them sealed. Cut a few slots in the top of the hand pie to allow the steam to escape.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough quarters. Just before baking brush the top of each hand pie with the egg wash.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  11. Remove and let cool.

Pie Dough: This is my standard flaky pie dough recipe but with a third of the flour replaced with ground pecans. The ground pecans gives the dough a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and adds a little crunch.

Pecan Pie Crust
Recipe by:
  • 9 ounces bread flour
  • 4 ounces ground pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, cold and roughly chopped
  • 3 ounces lard, cold and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup ice water
  1. Place the flour, ground pecans and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix thoroughly.
  2. Add the cold, chopped butter and lard to the food processor. Pulse a few times until the butter is about the size of small peas or grape nuts and the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  3. Add the water. Pulse until the mixture comes together and a dough is just formed. Be careful not to over mix the dough.
  4. Pour the dough out onto parchment paper. Knead together lightly if needed. Form the dough into a disk and wrap completely in parchment paper.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour to give the dough time to rest and to make it easier to work with and roll out.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator just before rolling out.


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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Food nerd. Cookbook author. Founder of Chasing Delicious. Pastry cook at Fluff Bake Bar. Lover of hot dogs. Russell van Kraayenburg founded Chasing Delicious in 2010 and has been chasing delicious recipes ever since. Russell is author of the cookbooks Haute Dogs and Making Dough.


  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    These look great! I bet they made your house smell amazing!

  • Fork and Whisk

    Those look delicious. My wife just made a bunch of apple hand pies and mixed berry hand pies. Like the idea of the spiced wine with the pears. Keep up the good work.

  • Debie Grace

    Looks very delicious!! I’m craving for some!

  • jaime @ sweet road

    Beautiful photos! The combination of all these ingredients sounds so warming and cozy for winter. Pie is one of the most perfect fall treats.

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    These are a gem. I love hand pies-pocket pies. I could imagine myself grabbing them on the go. Oh just from the sound is giving me goosebumps. You are truly inspiring to me my friend. Hope all is well and will chat soon? xoxo, Jo

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks

    I wouldn’t have even gotten that marinating fruit into the pies to bake them…would have been gobbled as is, drenched in bourbon-spiced-wine broth. Delish!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    yes please! Too pretty for words

  • Ashlae

    These are just.. so pretty. Loving your little nook of the web, Russell :)

  • Mary @ Bake Break

    Oh yum!! Hand pies aside, I was planning on experimenting with a pecan crust this tonight anyways – so I’m glad you posted this for my reference!

  • Mary @ Bake Break

    and by “this tonight” I mean .. tonight.

  • Shanna@ pineapple and coconut

    I seriously look forward to your posts not just for your super yummy recipes and amazing photos but your storytelling is unlike no other food blog I have ever read. You are very talented, I hope this brings you much success in life, and I thank you for posting because I love to read what you write.

  • thelittleloaf

    Before I started blogging I’d never heard of hand pies – a pie was just something you sliced from one big dish. I’m not sure if it’s an American term or if I just hadn’t come across it before but I love the name now – it sounds personal and comforting and as delicious as these hand pies look! :-)

  • Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    Are you really supposed to make galettes with special dough? I usually use pie crust. Oops. Bad food blogger! These are such beautiful little hand pies. They’d be great as a non-traditional Thanksgiving dessert!

  • Carolyn

    Wow, spiced wine and pear…that is sophisticated hand pie!

  • Riley

    These look so delicious, especially the pecan pie dough!

  • Jon

    I’m now jonesing for some hot coca with cinnamon and whipped cream. These look incredible. Such a great idea with the peCAN pie crust, also ;) Can’t wait to try it!

  • Joanne

    I love the autumnal picture you’ve painted both through your lovely descriptions and from these delightful hand pies!!

  • Eileen

    Pear pies sound just about perfect for fall! YAY.

  • Stephanie

    I love the concept of hand pies! Your blog is looking extra tasty for Fall and the holiday season. All these posts have me drooling

  • Jeanette

    These look incredible and I love all the spices in your poaching liquid! I’ve never had a homemade hand pie – can you save me some?

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Beautiful little hand pies, I love the filling flavors!

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Now I want a big mug of cocoa and one of these to go with it.

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    There’s something so inviting about a handpie… these are just perfect. :)

  • Diane (createdbydiane)

    I think I could fit three or four in each hand, that is how you would divide them out. Whoever could hold the most in each hand get them, right. Because I would want them all!

  • Natasha

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! Have me wanting to bake them right now :-)

  • The Squishy Monster

    My gf remarked that hand pies would be replacing cupcakes. Though I’m not sure either way, I do know that these are some fierce competition! Since they’re hand held, I’m sure this also means I can eat two at a time! =)

  • Stephanie @ CopyKat.com

    This looks lovely, I love the rustic look of the pies. I look forward to giving this recipe a try.

  • Viviane Bauquet Farre

    This is perhaps the most stunning and elegant food photography I’ve seen all month. So seasonal, unpretentious, and yet full of character. Wonderful cooking!

  • Reem | Simply Reem

    This looks sos os delicious… Something that can comfort your soul!!!
    I am loving the pics and the beautiful tone!!!

  • Silvia

    OMG…Such a beautiful blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^_^

  • Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand

    Truly delicious! I’ve never heard of hand pies before. I love the spices used in the recipe. It really sums up this time of year.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Am I the only one who looked at the pie dough and wondered what peans were? I instantly scrolled down to the ingredients and thought, “of course it’s pecans, you silly.” I was thinking it was some weird ingredient I’d never heard of before. :)

    I LOVE hand pies! These are definitely grown up pies and that’s even better.

  • Model Chef

    Delicious! I’ll have to try these. Thanks for sharing,

  • RavieNomNoms

    What gorgeous little hand pies!

  • Rigette

    This is a mouthwatering recipe.. what a wonderful blog!!

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    These are delicious!

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